No longer marooned in the non-East Texas district including Sherman, Denison, Royse City and Greenville, two powerful East Texas programs with a long history square off Oct. 19 in the middle of the District 14-4A schedule to potentially decide the league’s champion.

Since dropping from Class 5A to Class 4A for the 1990 season, Texas High has inhabited the same district as Sulphur Springs for 20 of 22 seasons. The series during that stretch: 10-10. Sulphur Springs won the first seven before Texas High caught fire and has stormed back to even the ledger. Each team has won a state championship during the new millennium. Texas High claimed the 4A Division I crown in 2002, and Sulphur Springs snagged the 4A Division II title in 2008.

Texas High has only a few starters back, but at least two of them are studs: senior defensive tackle Jonathan Hunt and junior linebacker Anthony Rhone. The Tigers need them to slow a Sulphur Springs offense featuring the Ivery brothers, Willy and Buddy. Willy, a junior, is a receiver who scored 15 touchdowns as a sophomore. Buddy, a senior, ran for more than 500 yards in 2011.

Top 25 Games of the Year

No. 16: Waco La Vega vs. Palestine

No. 17: Hughes Springs vs. Elysian Fields

No. 18: Gilmer vs. Atlanta

No. 19: Whitehouse vs. Carthage

No. 20: Daingerfield vs. New Boston

No. 21: Carlisle vs. Big Sandy

No. 22: Palestine vs. Jacksonville

No. 23: Tenaha vs. San Augustine

No. 24: Gilmer vs. Daingerfield

No. 25: John Tyler vs. Tyler Lee